Home from Pakistan status: Home.
I've been sitting at my computer for a long time, trying to figure out how in the heck to blog about my trip. Where to start? Where to stop? What should I have for breakfast? (OK, I'm also hungry).
So, I figured I'd follow the old adage, and eat the country, one bite at a time.
Today will be an overview, and next week I will delve into the specifics.
PAKISTAN BY THE NUMBERS (in Brodi's view)
Number of hours travel time to and from Pakistan: 72
Number of security checks just to get into our hotel: 3
Number of bodyguards for me: 1
(The Major. For the first few days, I thought his actual name was "Major" only spelled something more Urdu-ish, like "Mehyjooh". And I kept wondering, "Why is this guy following me around everywhere, looking extremely forbidding?" I grew to absolutely love him. More about the Major next week.)
Number of times I got sick from the food: 1
Yay! I consider this a feat, since everyone usually gets sick a lot more their first time. It's a spice thing. Lesson learned: when they ask if you like spice, say, "a little." Don't say, "Heck yeah. Load it up!"
Number of times the driver Olfat had to rush me home because I was sick: 1
Number of cars Olfat butted in front of to get me through the security line at the hotel: 20
Number on the thermometer: 104
Number of times I got heat stroke: 1
Number of times I told people (during bout with heat stroke) "It's snowing where I come from": 28
(But it's okay, because it sounded slurred when I said it)
Number of times the power went out at the hotel on a daily basis: 10
Number of times the crappy internet connection prevented me from blogging: 382
(So, sorry for the blogless Wednesday.)
Number of little children I scared the mush out of, just by smiling at them: 5
(I figured somethig out: little babies were okay with the way I looked, children 5 years and older were fascinated, everyone in between was scared spitless). Who'd have thunk it? I look scary.
Number of times I asked to ride in a rickshaw: 40
Number of times the Major wouldn't allow it: 39
Number of times I rode in a rickshaw: 1
(There's something to be said for persistance)
Number of times Seru and I laughed in the rickshaw: Constantly
Number of times the rickshaw driver looked at us like we were nuts: 7
Number of cars following five feet behind, making sure nothing happened to us: 1
Number of trees I planted: 2
Number of trees I planted and then subsequently drowned: Just 1
Number of banners announcing my arrival: 10 (that I counted)
Number of bouquets with which I was presented: 2
Number of times I was asked for an autograph: 1
Number of times my ego exploded because of aforementioned banners, bouquets and autographs: 382
Number of banners I brought home to hang above my garage: 1
Number of times I was offered tea: 1,873,450
Number of times I felt threatened: 0
Number of people witnessed riding one tiny moped scooter: 5
Number of plaques presented to me: 1
(Etching: "Presented to Ms. Brodi Ashton on her first visit to Pakistan". Again, contributing to said ego trip).
Number of new friends made: countless
Number of kindred spirits: countless
Number of times I cried when saying goodbye to new friends: None.
Preposterous to even think it. I never cry. Not only because my medication prevents that sort of thing, but because I just don't cry.
Okay, I cried like a little girl.
Number of Pakistani's I invited to come live with me: Every single one I talked to.
Comments are back on! At least, I'm trying to put them back... hang tight. Please know my friends in Pakistan are now reading this, so you can say hi to them as well!